Joliet, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) joined Governor JB Pritzker on Friday at the Joliet Waste Water Treatment Facility for an event to commemorate the signing of the largest capital plan in Illinois history. The Governor signed the six year, $45 billion dollar bill, which includes a total $1.2 billion investment for Interstate 80 repairs and bridge reconstruction from Ridge Road to U.S. 30 .
“This capital plan has been a long time coming and is the culmination of years of work in both the House and Senate,” Rep. McDermed said. “We’ve finally got a long-term plan for Illinois’ infrastructure needs. The 2016 lockbox amendment and the yearly audits authorized in this bill will ensure that taxes paid at the pump go towards their intended purpose; maintaining our state’s roads and bridges.”
Dubbed Rebuild Illinois, the plan includes significant investment in Will County projects and others in the 37th district. In addition to allocating money for roads and bridges, the plan includes $5.1 million for flood control projects at Spring and Hickory Creeks, and $19.8 million for facilities at Joliet Junior College.
Rep McDermed continued, “One of the most important things we can do for the future of Illinois is to maintain our place as America’s transportation center, not only will this plan help ensure that we remain a vital hub in the nation’s network of highways and bridges, but it will stimulate economic growth throughout the state.” The plan will create an estimated 540,000 jobs and revitalize local economies.
“I understand that many are upset with the increasing gas taxes, but the sheer level of deferred maintenance and the scope of what needs to be done, unfortunately made it an inevitability,” Rep. McDermed said. “We need to cut state spending, but for the safety of my constituents and for the future of Illinois this is one area we need to invest in. It is important that folks can have peace of mind when driving across our bridges and no longer have to worry about blowing a tire on a pothole.”
Decades of insufficient and intermittent funding has led to billions in deferred maintenance and needs for roads and bridges as well as state facilities. The plan will be paid for by an increase in the Motor Fuel Tax from 19 cents to 38 cents, to take effect on July 1st. The MFT has been set at 19 cents since 1990.